Simpsonville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Old Arbor
The old arbor was the first building used by the people of Bethel. It is believed to have been built in the early 1800s. The land on which the arbor and church were built was given by John Bramlett, Solomon Holland and Benjamin Holland. Reunions of the Confederate soldiers that fought in the Civil War were held at the arbor. They were held every July 21, the day the Confederates repelled Union forces at the battle of Manassas. It is thought that the last soldiers' reunion was held around 1934.
Erected by Bethel United Methodist Church.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is July 21, 1805.
Location. 34° 46.65′ N, 82° 16.333′ W. Marker is in Simpsonville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is at the intersection of Holland Road and Balcome Boulevard (County Route 332), on the right when traveling north on Holland Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 Holland Road, Simpsonville SC 29681, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Old Oak Tree (within shouting distance of this Bethel Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Bethel Church Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Bethel Community Training Ground (within shouting distance of this marker); Gilder (approx. 1.4 miles away); Oakland Plantation (approx. 1½ miles away); Mauldin (approx. 1.9 miles away); Mauldin United Methodist Church (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Simpsonville.
Also see . . . First Battle of Bull Run. The First Battle of Bull Run, also known as the First Battle of Manassas (the name used by Confederate forces and still often used in the Southern United States), was fought on July 21, 1861, near Manassas, Virginia. (Submitted on May 19, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
1. John Bramlett's Obituary
The Southern Christian Advocate
Died, at his residence, "on the hill", near the Bethel Campground, Greenville Dist., S.C., July 27th, John Bramlett, aged 91 years. The venerable
Father Bramlett was born in Fauquier Co., VA., May 13, 1764. In his 18th year he joined the Methodist Church, and one year afterwards, while conducting family devotion at the house of his widowed mother, he was powerfully converted. From the hour of regeneration until the angels escorted him to Heaven, during a very long life of temptation and trial, he maintained his confidence in Christ and to use his own words, "never lost the witness."
All who knew John Bramlett believed in him. A more heavenly minded man, the writer never knew. Shortly after his conversion, he married and removed to S.C. where he passed 70 years of his life, universally respected. A generous, whole-souled and devoted follower of the Savior, he never disgraced the church by the exhibition of an unworthy spirit. Full of faith, he gave glory to God - full of love, he cared for his neighbor. God was his father, heaven his home - he knew that, and was happy.
What Methodist minister ever visited Greenville circuit, and did not admire and love Father Bramlett? Always at his place in church, until infirmities made it impossible, how hearty and sincere was his worship! O! it was refreshing to see the dear old man in his church. He entered into the services with his whole heart - tears of love and joy flowing from his dimmed eyes, and expressions of gratitude and rapture falling from his lips.
To see that white-haired disciple, blind and trembling with the weight of 90 years, so hopeful and so happy, was a privilege and a benefit. He was the founder of the church at Bethel - the class for many years meeting at his house for worship. Bishop Asbury and the preachers of the olden times, who passed through this part of the state, preached and rested under his roof.
Father Bramlett brought up a family of 13 children, all of whom lived to become parents (except one - Susan never married) and all joined the church of their father and mother. One year before Father Bramlett's death, his aged consort was taken from his side. She too was 91 at the time of her death, having been for 70 years his faithful and pious companion. Permit me to tell you of the old patriarch's "bower of prayer" before concluding this imperfect sketch. He had a place, a sheltered and retired spot, where he used to pray. When he was blind and extremely feeble, it was most affecting to see him groping his way to his loved retreat. There he prayed and sang and rejoiced, communing with his God every day.
He waited for death as for the coming of his best friend, and he passed away at the very time he would have chosen to go, when the Campground, a few hundred yards from his home, was filled with his neighbors and acquaintances praising God.
Dr. W.L.M. Austin
— Submitted May 19, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 19, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,376 times since then and 29 times this year. Last updated on July 28, 2020, by D. Bennett of Simpsonville, South Carolina. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 19, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.